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Gigabyte GV-N595U GeForce FX5950 Ultra review

Gigabyte GV-N595U GeForce FX5950 Ultra review - PCSTATS
Abstract: We recently got the chance to take a look at Nvidia's latest graphics processor release, the FX5950 Ultra chip, as thoughtfully provided by Gigabyte in their GV-N595U video card.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Jan 06 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Gigabyte GV-N595U

Overclocking the GV-N595U Benchmarks

Due to the thermal safeguard abilities of the FX59XX series GPUs, overclocking the GV-N595U is a rather imprecise science. Instead of a linear progression of performance improvements, continuing until you push the card too far and get artifacts or lockups, the FX5950 tends to throttle itself back to protect itself when you over stress it.

This is not to say that you cannot overclock the card though; just that it requires a different kind of observation. When you would otherwise be seeing the telltale signs that you have gone too far such as artifacts, you will see nothing wrong but your benchmark scores will simply drop instead.

As usual, the Coolbits utility enables overclocking in the Nvidia control panel. In this section, you may notice an 'automatic settings' button, which will actually overclock the card for you, to a (generally slightly conservative) setting. Now I'm not sure if it's the 52.16 drivers or not, but while this button seemed to work fine if we started from the default clock settings, hitting it after manually overclocking the card resulted in some extremely high settings, high enough to lock up the card, thermal throttling or not.

Best to do things manually here then. After some playing around, we settled on 516Mhz core, 1.02Ghz memory timings as being a good stable platform to use for our overclocked benchmarks.

PCStats Test System Specs:
Processor:

Intel Pentium 4 3.0C

Clock Speed: 15 x 200 MHz = 3.0 GHz
Motherboards:

Gigabyte 8KNXP, i875P

Videocard:

ATi Radeon 9800 Pro
ATi Radeon 9700 Pro
Gigabyte Radeon 9600 Pro
MSI FX5900U-VTD256
Albatron GeForceFX 5600 Ultra (Rev2)
MSI G4Ti4600-VT2D8X
Gigabyte FX5950 Ultra

Memory:

2x 256MB Corsair TwinX 3200LL

Hard Drive: 40GB WD Special Ed
CDROM: NEC 52x CD-ROM
PowerSupply: Vantec Stealth 470W
Software Setup

WindowsXP Build 2600
Intel INF 5.03
Catalyst 3.9
Detonator 52.16

Workstation Benchmarks

3DMark2001SE
3DMark03
AquaMark
AquaMark3
CodeCreatures
Gun Metal 2
Quake III Arena Ver 1.17
UT2003

AA Test, AF and AA+AF Test
3DMark2001SE
Quake III Arena

3DMark03 Build 3.4.0 Source: FutureMark

This new accurate diagnostic tool, designed for DirectX9.0, provides you with all the information you need to make informed hardware assessments. Havok Total real-time physics library from Havok - these routines are used to accurately model the movements of objects due to forces, etc. FMOD sound library from Firelight Technologies - these are used for the various sound effects and routines used in the tests. Graphics adapter analysis software from Powerstrip of Entech Taiwan - this is used to correctly determine the speeds of the graphics processing and video memory chips, plus supply additional hardware information. Higher 3DMark03 scores denote better performance.

3DMark03 Benchmark Results
Video Card 3DMarks Ranking
1.

ATi Radeon 9800 Pro

5840
2.

ATi Radeon 9700 Pro

5168
3. Gigabyte Radeon 9600 Pro 3407
4. MSI FX5900U-VTD256 Ultra 5424
5. Albatron GeForceFX 5600 Ultra 2433
6. MSI G4Ti4600-VT2D8X 2001
7. Gigabyte FX5950 Ultra 5658
8. Gigabyte FX5950 Ultra (516/1020) 6089

Since the 3.4.0 version of 3Dmark 2003 came out during our testing of the card, we had a chance to benchmark with both versions. As you probably already know, the newest build of Futuremark's synthetic benchmark considerably lowers the scores that recent Nvidia cards achieve.

We saw this illustrated very clearly, as with both overclocked and stock settings, the 5950 dropped ~900 3Dmarks with the new build. Pre-patch, the 5950 actually managed to achieve an impressive 6980 3Dmarks, which dropped back to a more reasonable 6089 with the new version. At stock, the FX5950 now comes in a little behind the older ATI 9800 Pro in this benchmark, which hurts a little.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GV-N595U
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GV-N595U GeForce FX5950 Ultra review
 Pg 2.  The Nvidia FX5950 Ultra GPU
 Pg 3.  Alternative cooling solution
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking the GV-N595U Benchmarks
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Code creatures, AquaMark3
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Gun Metal 2, 3DMark2001SE
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: AquaMark 2.3, Unreal Tournament 2003
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena
 Pg 9.  Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III Arena w/AF
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III Arena w/AA+AF
 Pg 12.  Observations and conclusions

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